UC Davis will face top crews this weekend in San Diego. (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
March 26, 2010
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The UC Davis women's rowing team will face some of the top collegiate crews in the country when the Aggies' varsity, second varsity eight and novice eight crews participate on Saturday and Sunday at the San Diego Crew Classic, marking the first time the program has entered three boats in the prestigious competition.
More than 3,000 athletes in nearly 100 races comprise the regatta, widely considered one of the premier regattas in the country. Mission Bay Park serves as the site for the weekend's racing.
The Aggies' varsity eight, which won the Cal Cup two consecutive years, moved up to the Jessop-Whittier Cup invitational division last year, going up against several highly ranked crews. UC Davis remains in the tough division again this year, opening at 9 a.m. on Saturday in a preliminary heat with USC, Harvard and Grand Valley. The top three boats will advance to Sunday's grand final.
National rankings this year have been expanded this year to include a school's entire team and not just its varsity eight. Virginia, which is in the first heat, is tied for third in the most recent poll while USC is tied for 10th and Harvard is 14th. Washington State, also in the first preliminary, is 16th.
UC Davis has not raced since winning at the season-opening Davis Invitational at the Port of Sacramento in early March.
"Coming off of finals and spring break is tough, however, this is a great opportunity to race against some of the best teams in the country," said Aggie head coach Carissa Adams. "Our goal is to attempt to hold onto the pack. This type of racing opportunity is an eye-opener for our program, allowing our rowers to see what it will take to be ranked in Division I."
Rowing in the varsity eight will be Lia D'Angelo at coxswain, Brittani De Riemer at stroke, Danielle Long at seven, Autumn Huey at six, Darcy Ward at five, Paige Kendall at four, Christine Bernatz at three, Becca Lindquist at two, and Emily Roberts at bow.
The Jessop-Whittier Cup grand final is scheduled for Sunday at 9:15 a.m.
The second varsity eight, also victorious in its opener, will races its preliminary race for the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Aggies, who will be in lane four, will go up against USC, Sacramento State, Kansas State and Virginia's B entry. It grand final is scheduled for 9:40 a.m. on Sunday.
UC Davis' crew will be comprised of Valentina Ferrari at coxswain, Haleigh King at stroke, Hannah Owens at seven, Maggie Burke at six, Tara Trakin, at five, Elieke Demmer at four, Brittney O'Brien at three, Brooke O'Brien at two, and Lily Dickson at bow.
The Aggies' novice entry gives UC Davis three boats in the regatta for the first time. The novices will be competing for the Laurel V. Korholz Perpetual Trophy and will open its racing at 11 a.m. UC Davis will be in the second of three prelim heats and will battle Oklahoma, Kansas State, San Diego, Cal's lightweights and Washington State.
UC Davis opened its spring season with a victory in its home regatta on Mar. 7. The novice final will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Rowing for the novice eight will be Jessica Kepes at coxswain, Melanie LaCava at stroke, Rachel Morowitz at seven, Caryn Covella at six, Vivienne Hazzard at five, Alison Tarke at four, Jenn Sheldon at three, Casey Olson at two, and Anais Flynn at bow.
"The team is excited about this racing opportunity," said Adams. "We are facing tough competition and will use this experience as a gauge to determine what we need to work on for the rest of the season."
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